Couple Leaves 21-Year-Old Waitress $400 Tip. But When They Come Back Next Day, She's Left Speechless


Cayla Chandara moved to the Waikiki area of Hawaii to pursue her college education. Yet, she has not been spending any time in the classroom or working on homework.

Instead, she has been working hard balancing two different waitress jobs. She works the day shift at The Cheesecake Factory and in the evenings at Noi Thai Cuisine, in Waikiki.

It was not in Chandara’s plan to drop out of school. The cost of living, plus the debt she incurred from school, had became overwhelming.

She needed to take a step back from pursing her education, in order to focus on saving money so she could go back eventually. It was not her dream to pull double-duty as a waitress at two restaurants, but living in the Waikiki area — while also managing to pay for school — was more difficult than expected.

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Recently, her job as a waitress also took another unexpected turn. Thankfully, something happened that would help make her dream of going back to school come closer.

A couple from Australia were assigned to one of Chandara’s tables at Noi Thai Cuisine. And the friendly couple happily struck up a conversation with the young woman.

After talking for a bit, they learned about how she had put school on hold because of finances. They finished up their $200 meal and eventually left.

Chandara was shocked when she realized that they had paid double their tab to tip her. She started to tear up when she saw the $400 tip.

Of course, she wanted to thank them, but they had already left. However, she remembered where they told her they were staying.

Chandara wrote a letter explaining how much their generosity meant to her. She then went to the store to pick up flowers.

She brought the flowers and letter, along with a request to have desserts delivered to their room, as her way of saying thank you. In response, the couple came back to the restaurant with an even bigger surprise than the $400 tip.

They offered to pay off Chandara’s debt, balances, and the rest of her tuition! Chandara insisted that they did not have to do that for her, but their insistence that they really wanted to was stronger.

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This waitress’ life has been changed. Chandara is dedicated to going back to school to study business and hopes to make the couple proud.

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Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College.
Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College. Carolyn's writing has been featured in both online and print media, including Just Between Us magazine. She resides in Phoenix with her husband and children.
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